Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pure Energy

Energy. It’s the rare commodity that many of us in the modern day lack. With our busy schedules: work, kids, school; soccer, karate, band or football practice, community volunteerism, and a career; for many of us, the energy required to keep up modern day life is in short supply. Every time I look at LW, I’m reminded what my father used to say when I was young and literally “bouncing off the walls” with youthful exuberance: “Gee, if I had your energy, I’d give mine away.” Now, well into my 40’s, I see his point. After having been married, raising two kids and being involved with many of the activities above and working in media from place to place for nearly 30 years; all while balancing all the responsibilities one must shoulder as an adult; I found myself gradually slowing down in recent years. Where has all the energy gone? Is it true there just doesn’t seem to be as much time for everything as there used to be? Furthermore, even if it is, why do I now find it much more tempting to begin a long love affair with the television and couch? I don’t think I’m lazy, just getting older and the pace of modern life is probably a little more noticeable than it used to be.

So, here I sit watching LW fly about the room, grabbing Murph in one instant, while diving into the toy box the next. A closet door opens, and with the deft maneuvering skills of a stealth jet performing a surgical strike on its target, Willow grabs a new sneaker and heads for the nearest exit. Following a 10 minute hot pursuit (which was unsuccessful by the way), I have to laugh as I catch myself thinking “Gee, If I had your energy, I’d give mine away.” Which prompted two other thoughts immediately: 1.) “Oh my God! I’ve become my father!” and 2.) “Wouldn’t it be great if you could bottle up this energy and sell it?” In today’s overworked, energy-starved world, it would sell like hotcakes!

As any puppy raiser will tell you, energy is one thing of which puppies never seem to run out. Science tells us a perpetual motion machine hasn’t (and isn’t likely any time soon) to be invented. Whoever wrote that obviously never raised a puppy. On just a few cups of puppy chow a day, they can grab more sneakers, raid more trash cans, chew on more objects and water much more of everything than you could ever imagine. If we knew the secret to this boundless source of energy, it would be equivalent to discovering the holy grail of youth! While an admirable goal, this of course, is impossible and probably impractical. The next best solution; however, might be to help them dissipate some of this energy, so at least you don’t run out before they do.

Renowned dog trainer Cesar Milan has a theory for controlling this energy. In his book “Cesar’s Way,” he suggests that dog owners can help animals by emulating many of the behaviors and conditions that are guided by their natural instincts. This includes making sure they get plenty of exercise on a daily basis (which is similar to the daily “migration” for food, if they were in the wild). Fortunately, there is a nice park nearby which is quite large and has much to offer, including a walking track that’s a mile with each round. So, three miles a morning can give me a huge advantage in the “great sneaker chase.”

Oddly, since taking LW, (Orlando and Murphy) on this walk everyday, coming home usually results in naptime for them and increased energy for me! Maybe, I’ve found the secret after all! Missing shoe? Bring it on!!

After a long walk; its nap time at the zoo!

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